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Extended Audio Sample Say Her Name Audiobook, by Francisco Goldman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 5 3.64 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Francisco Goldman Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781452672069
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Celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda in the summer of 2005. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body-surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura’s death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die too. But instead he wrote Say Her Name, a novel chronicling his great love and unspeakable loss, tracking the stages of grief when pure love gives way to bottomless pain.

Suddenly a widower, Goldman collects everything he can about his wife, hungry to keep Aura alive with every memory. From her childhood and university days in Mexico City with her fiercely devoted mother to her studies at Columbia University, through their newlywed years in New York City and travels to Mexico and Europe—and always through the prism of her gifted writings—Goldman seeks her essence and grieves her loss. Humor leavens the pain as he lives through the madness of utter grief and creates a living portrait of a love as joyous and playful as it is deep and profound.

Say Her Name is a love story, a bold inquiry into destiny and accountability, and a tribute to Aura, who she was and who she would have been.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcia | 2/20/2014

    " At times this "grief memoir" was hard to read because Francisco Goldman is SO sad an SO lost without Aura. But it is ultimately beautiful and sad and moving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy Jeffcoat | 1/24/2014

    " This book is a fictionalized account of the author's life with Aura Estrada, his wife who died in a surfing accident in 2007. Since it is classified as fiction, I'm uncertain as to some of the facts, but it seems mostly to have occurred the way he write it. I mostly liked it, although parts of it were somewhat tedious to get through. The story is heartbreaking because you know from the beginning that she is going to die. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trudy | 1/20/2014

    " This novel is breathtaking and heartbreaking. Reading it is like being inside the writer's head and emotions during the emotionally turbulent years as he remembers his life with Aura, his much younger wife, and mourns for her. While a lovely elegy, it also brings to life the complex person that Aura was, humanizing her by bringing to the fore her talent and good traits as well as her insecurities, occasional cruelty, impatience and other personal defects. In other words, he loves her entirely, with the good and the bad and makes us care for her too. At times it feels somewhat claustrophobic, for there is little in this book that is not about Aura. Even the narrative of the years of his life prior to meeting her are written in view of the day he will meet her and come into her life. A bit of fresh air would have come into the book if he had contextualized it by letting us know what other things were going on in his life and the world around him during those years. Nevertheless, it is what is is: A book about Aura, his paean and elegy to her, and a map of what it is to survive the brutal blow of losing a deeply loved one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Featherbooks | 1/3/2014

    " Until I finished the book and looked at the library cataloguing on the spine, I did not realize it was a novel. It was such a painfully beautiful tribute to the author's wife and his love for her, I was sure it was biography. I can't put it any better than Annie Proulx: "We may feel we know something about love's burn, the scorching heat of loss, but reading this book is to stand in front of a blowtorch, to take a farrier's rasp to raw ends ... Wrenching funny, powerful, beautiful." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyla | 11/30/2013

    " Chalk up another one for my "mourner-memoir" fascination.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Warrick | 11/16/2013

    " After his young wife died in a swimming accident Goldman wrote this loving and beautifully written 'novel' that reads more like a memoir than fiction...it's heartbreaking, and initally gripping, but then the outpouring of grief and love gets tiring. Sob. Sob. I'm sorry, I'm SORRY. I couldn't put it down but I was relieved when it was over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda Wheet | 11/5/2013

    " While beautifully written, it often seemed Goldman would jump between scenes or be writing more for himself than the reader. However, as the novel was intended as part of his grieving process, this is understandable. Truly a story of love. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Vicky | 10/26/2013

    " I cannot explain how annoyed I was reading this book. Albeit a true story, it was pathetic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holli Arnold | 9/30/2013

    " very prodding story....similar to prozac nation in that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 8/17/2013

    " The book is essentially a painstakingly recount of every detail of the author's late wife's life. But this cataloging mostly seems a natural and understandable way to memorialize her. Unfortunately, at times, this ends up to be a tedious read otherwise I'd have rated it 5 stars. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna Cate | 6/19/2013

    " I feel terrible and heartless not liking a memoir about the death of the author's wife. There were many moving passages, but the way the book was organized and edited (among other things) made it too much like someone's journal and tough (at least for me) to get through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 5/22/2013

    " A beautiful book - heartbreaking, too - about the power of love and loss. Francisco Goldman makes you fall in love with his late wife, Aura, who died in 2005 in a swimming accident. And, with this book, he keeps her alive, too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cate | 5/7/2013

    " Sad and tragic story, but a bit too long and detailed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anty | 6/14/2012

    " What a sad yet beautiful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda | 5/25/2012

    " Incredibly sad, but still a wonderful read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Casey | 5/22/2012

    " This book is really sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 4/20/2012

    " Love's loss laid bare in beautifully heart-wrenching detail. A wonderful book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra Shanti | 11/8/2011

    " Pleased to read this galley. So much raw emotion. I feel like I know his widow and feel authors pain and yearning to have his wife back. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 9/12/2011

    " I thought this was a very beautiful and poignant tribute from Francisco Goldman to his late wife. I thought it was reminiscent of Joan Didion's "A Year of Magical Thinking". My heart just hurts for Goldman and the loss of the love of his wife. Definitely work reading! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Margo | 8/29/2011

    " Too rambling and way too crude. Not at all what I expected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Runnread | 5/14/2011

    " Beautiful. A true testament of love, loss and the power of a well written book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 5/6/2011

    " Easily the best, most beautiful thing I've read this year and perhaps longer. This will shake you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joye | 4/30/2011

    " Wow, what a sad story! I read the 350 pages in a day. This author brought me into his life, love and grieving anid I am still reeling from it. Read it if you dare. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 4/20/2011

    " A beautiful book - heartbreaking, too - about the power of love and loss. Francisco Goldman makes you fall in love with his late wife, Aura, who died in 2005 in a swimming accident. And, with this book, he keeps her alive, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 4/16/2011

    " A true love story told by a grieving husband. Honest and heart-wrenching. "

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About the Author
Author Francisco Goldman

Francisco Goldman is the author of three previous works of fiction (The Long Night of White Chickens, The Ordinary Seaman, and The Divine Husband), and one work of nonfiction, The Art of Political Murder. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a fellow at the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers. Currently the Allan K. Smith Professor of English at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Francisco’s writing has appeared in publications including the New Yorker, Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and the New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City and Mexico City.

About the Narrator

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and seven-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, winning in 2011 and 2013. He is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters, and dialects and has earned multiple Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.